The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Monday said that it is only the presidency and not the Ministry of Labour and Employment that can take decisions on some of the contentious issues that led to the warning strike such as wage award, the issue of CNG, refineries and others.
This is as the Federal Government and the NLC have agreed to continue talks over post-subsidy removal palliatives for workers before the expiration of the 21 day ultimatum issued by labour.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong as well as the Minister of State, Nkeiruka Onyejecha, met with the leadership of the NLC at the ministry’s headquarters, Abuja on how to resolve the rift between government and workers over the removal of petrol subsidy that has led to untold hardship in the country.
Speaking after the meeting, the NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, noted that the Ministers of Labour and Employment have carried out their expected roles by conciliating between labour and government but that the onus was on the presidency to take decisions on the issues at stake.
Ajaero said, “There is a larger committee that has set up technical committees. The ministry has performed its role to mediate and conciliate in the problem between us and the federal government.
There is an inter-ministerial committee at the presidency level which is supposed to address these issues.
“The ministry of labour can’t address wage award, the issue of CNG, refineries and others. The ministry has mediated to ensure that there is no problem or get both parties to resolve these issues.
“We are ready to engage the government whether in the night or day; we are ready to engage but not at gunpoint.”
At the meeting, both parties pledged to find solutions to key demands tabled before the government by the organised labour before the deadline.
But Ajaero told journalists after the meeting that only the presidency can take decisions on the demands presented to the government.